An associate's degree is most common for these professionals, although diploma and certificate programs can also enable individuals to enter the occupation. Bachelor's degree programs are not as common, but they can be helpful for those seeking supervisory positions in avionics maintenance. Many avionics maintenance programs prepare students to take certification exams from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), although additional experience requirements may apply to be eligible to sit the exams. In addition to learning the theory behind avionics maintenance, students get hands-on training that provides them with the skills needed for both the FAA exams and working as a technician. A field experience or an internship might also be included as well. Typical course concepts will include the following:
- Voltage and circuits
- Maintenance forms
- Wire connections
- Communication systems
- Circuit diagrams
- Air traffic control
List of Courses
Aircraft Electrical Systems Course
This course introduces students to general electrical concepts, such as alternating and direct electrical currents, voltage and circuits. Emphasis of the course is on applying knowledge of electrical systems to aircraft operations. Students learn to read circuit diagrams, test power sources and inspect electrical systems on aircraft. This course is intended for students without a background in electricity.
General Aircraft Maintenance Procedures Course
Federal Aviation Administration regulations for aircraft maintenance, including requirements for maintenance records, are reviewed in this course. Students study procedures for inspecting aircraft and reporting airframe and avionics conditions. Instructors introduce avionics and airframe maintenance forms, handbooks and other reference materials used in finding technical specifications for avionics devices.
Introduction to Avionics Maintenance Course
This is a follow-up course to general aircraft maintenance course. In this course, students practice maintenance procedures and aircraft instrumentation testing. Emphasis is placed on examining wire connections and troubleshooting malfunctions with electronic devices. Students must have a general knowledge of electrical systems before taking this course.
Aircraft Communication Systems Maintenance Course
In this course, instructors guide students through each part of an aircraft communications system and discuss possible system failures. Students learn how parts of the communication system function and fit together as well as troubleshooting and repair procedures. Additionally, the course trains students to maintain the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), which is used to transmit digital messages from the airplane to a control tower. Communications systems maintenance is a required course taken near the end of an avionics program.